tv Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer Current July 10, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
the justice department will not act on the mortgage task force on fraud, and they are not doing anything about it. that's what i hold him in contempt for. eliot spitzer is going to talk more about libor. >> good evening. i am eliot spiritser. what did he know and when did he know it? the question aimed at president richard nix on during senate waterer gait hearings may be turned on treasury secretary timothy geithner. britain's bark can barclay's bank has paid you for manipulating libor which acts the pricing of $800 trillion in loans and financial instruments and at least 10 other too-big-to-fail
banks including j.p. morgan, hsbc citibank and ubs to the suit their specifics. did us and uk regulators know barclay's and other banks were twisting libor to their own ends as early as 2007. in late 2007, we received occasional anecdotal reports from barclay's with problems about libor. the new york fed said at the time geitner was the new york fed's president, according to the huffington post. his california shows he met repeatedly with barclay's officials in 2007 and '8 and on april 28th, 2008, to discuss, and i quote, fixing libor. on october 10, 2008, geithner sat with robert dimond a meeting barclay claims setting
libor was discussed. >> randy nagbauer has requested transcripts of those years and tim johnson said today that federal reserve ben bernanke and secretary geithner should both be discussed to prepare liebor when they testify this month. in parliament hearings they defended themselves and their bank by claim can british regulators knew and approved of some libor manipulations. some said, and i quote: >> it seems to have led to this question of parliament to bank of england deputy governor paul tucker: >> you cat gorily refute the suggestion that this conversation might reasonably have led someone to suppose you were inviting barclay's to join the pack and underreport libor? >> absolutely. >> for more let's go to tracy
avalay and economist geoff madrick author of a book whose title could not be more appropriate: "the age of greed." a remarkable title and the right one diced. tracy, let's begin with you. give us a criminal primer pronouncing it from the british way. what was libor? how was it set, and why do we care so much about it. >> i think it's important to understand what's at steak because a lot of people won't have heard of libor but it's massive in the finance arecial stem an inter bank rate that banks get together and decide every morning who ist should be. there is a panel of 10 to 20 banks depending upon what type of libor we are talking. in the morning, they submit their own individual quotes to the d/b/a the british regulatory authority for banks and aggregate all of the quotes
and spit out the average quotes. >> the average is then the foundation for what i pay on my credit cards, what i pay on my home mortgage? tons of commercial debt? >> absolutely. >> used to be the prime. now it's to libor. so this number determines the interest rates for the entire financial community. >> absolutely. not just mortgages and credit cards but more esoteric things like loans to companies, derivatives, swaps. we are talking about 350 trillion. >> to make it clear, one thing you said, the bank get together, they take the top 4, bottom 4, toss them out. if you want to man ib late libor, you can't do it alone is what you are saying to me? >> that's a slightly more difficult question. i think it's interesting that bar clays settled with regulators over its manipulation and the regulators were very very -- they made sure not to say whether barclay's had impacted the rate.
if it suddenly emerges more banks start to settle with the regulators and it looks like there was a concerted effort to fort worth, texas the rate up or dan, that's another issue. >> we are peeling back the unions in what will be a conspiracy based on a conspiracy but we are now getting tangible evidence that regulator you see knew about this. why do you think that might have been? what's the current sense of what the regulatory involvement might have been? >> i think the regulatos, especially in 2008, may have been very concerned if libor soared, it would send a message to the rest of the community that those banks were in bigger trouble than people realized 689 they were happy to see some manipulation perhaps. my gut instinct was theny were happy. we should be clear to your viewers, the libor is the rate at which banks borrow from each other. it should be almost riskless. that was the rate that was set.
i believe the regulators had a vested interest out of fear, out of desire to control the markets to see the rates lower than they could have been. if they were manipulating it, it was for the greater good. >> so they thought. they were feeling when the financial crisis was brewing getting col sense see was what they were -- sol ven see so they might have winked and nodded and said lower it to make the cost of capitol to go down. >> i think it reflects a very disturbing trend because i know they knew it was a very informal procedure, some manipulation, some deceit about what the rates were. there were reports 15 and 20 years earlier about manipulating libor. it's hard to believe the regulators didn't have a sense of it. if you look at other securities and how they were trading
vis-a-vis these banks which reflected the risk of those banks, those libor rates they were reporting from out of line. >> let me state a memes i carried with me as a prosecutor. if there were 3 wall street guys in a room and thld there was a way for them to rig the system they would. i say the meeting tim geithner went to that said figuring libor. you don't fix something if it ain't broken. we know tim geithner knew there was a problem with libor. right? >> the amazing thing about this entire story is that everyone seemed to have known there was a problem with libor. the process of rate setting was completely subjective. you have a bunch of banks pricing, in 2008, they were almost imaginary numbers because there were no inter bank loans taking place. so you have that aspect of it. and it's true that as early as i think the 199090s, the fed published an academic paper
about manipulation of libor. >> tim guiterrez was the president of the new york fed, being the primary overseer of the banks. bill dudley now the president of the new york fed at this meeting as well. it sounds like the whole kit in' caboodle were there in one meeting. >> to get to the point which i think is a central point, this country manipulation and acceptance of manipulation i think went deep throughout wall street. the idea investment bankers or mortgage brokers to do the right thing and set the right rate rather than make it -- >> you are just too cynical for me. >> it should be out the window. >> tracy, other banks are being investigated right now. this is basically all the
too-big-to-fail institutions are under the gun. who is leading the investigation? >> the psyp has probably taken the lead over here they have been impressive in going after barclays. they are cooperating with the uk as well. the question is whether we will see a u.s. bank settle soon. i believe bank of america, city group and j.p. morgan were also being probed on this aspect. that will be something to watch. >> interesting thing. i know a couple of lawyers out there and i chat with them every now and again. one of the lawyers and i don't want to get too specific, said barclay's thought it would the get an advantage settling quickly but it finds itself at the heart of the other publicity. other banks are saying maybe we should slow it down. clar barclay's thought it would come out ahead. >> i would say it's back fired. the e-mails they released as part of the settlement were really quite a amazing.
i think it's imports to note a lot of emphasis has been placed on the fact that libor rates were manipulated down in 2008. that was not the entire case. there were instances of rates being manipulated up as well. >> we should talk about that they admitted rates were manipulated so they could make profits on position they took, investments they took before the rate. >> you were saying having read the statement of facts that was agreed to buy the bank and the prosecutors, barclay's acknowledge manipulating the rate to benefit its trading platform. >> they acknowledge that. that was part of the agreement. they acknowledge they talked to traders within their company and at other banks. this was acknowledged. the voelker rule to set out what they are doing, this may be exhibit "a" i want to come back to jamie dimond, alleged to be
involved, alleged being the critical word. he sits on the board of the new york fed. now the new york fed is ald to have been involved in this and they mainthane there is no conflict of interest between his being regulated, being on the board. am i missing something, or are they messissing something? >> they are missing something. >> explain this to us. the nature. these guys are buddies as you well know, as tracy wells knows. whether or not they are even consciously doing it, they are at least unconsciously letting each other off working in each other's interest. they are part of a culture. this culture is not only about libor. this culture is about trading in general in my view. it is easy to co lewd in trading, and this trading back and forth of securities and complex instruments and so you naw dominates wall street. when i started after going to graduate school, that's not what
dominated wall street. now it's trading and so easily managelable and there is a culture that tolerates it. >> tim geithner is going to be in front of congress in a couple of weeks and will have to answer these questions. can he talk his way out of this? what is the best possible scenario for him? we know he was at meetings discussing fixing libor, they have put out academic stud irks. what can he say to get himself out of this the quicksand? >> first of all, we don't know exactly what was said in the meetings. it could have been a general discussion about libor not specific to barclay's. so that's one aspect of it. it's probably best to say everyone new libor was broken but we couldn't come up with an alternative at the time. >> that's still something the industry faces. everyone knows libor is broken now. finding a replacement is difficult. >> the last refuge of the guilty. we knew it but nobody did anything. they are all a bunch of crooks. >> a weak argument if that's the argument. >> it needs to be serious
exactly what they say when we analyst it is, everybody knows. no, everybody didn't know they were fixing libor. everything business that had a loan is going to bring a civil suit. these banks finally, will be brought for justice. tracy alloway and geoff madrick and rediscovering government project for the roosevelt institute. the stigma of outsourcing, romney tried bouncing it back on the president. more "viewpoint" coming up. >>we talk a lot about the influence of money in politics. it is the defining issue of this era.
>> at least there is 1 thing wall street is crazy about: willing in this to commit crime. 24%. >> that's the percentage of financial services professionals in a recent survey who said they might have to do something unethical or illegal in order to succeed. out of 500 people interviewed by labadon and sucaro, 26 said they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace. 16% said they would commit insider trading if they could get away with it. 39% think their competitors break rules. 30% think the security & exchange commission deters to investigate misconduct. is the outcome any surprise? you have to do it to get ahead. everyone else does it and no one is prosecuted. no wonder there is rampant crime on wall street.
>> the real world and politics clyde on the gavin newsom show. can a futurist predict the future? find out on the >> occasionally the world of politics collides with the playground with republicans resorting to the i am rubber you are glue. a month ago, obama tacked and now republicans try to point the outsourcing finger back at the president. today, rnc chairman followed president obama to iowa where he trotted out a new talking point. >> president obama's stimulus and other policies created jobs overseas. and it turns out that president obama is the real outsourcer in
chief. >> but it didn't stop with the slogan. the rnc created an entire website dedicated to detailing how president obama sent jobs and money overseas. it cited no sources so i guess we need to take the rnc's word for it. mr. romney certainly did. >> this president has been outsourcing a good deal of american jobs, himself, by putting money into energy companies, solar and wind energy companies that ends up making their production outside the united states. if there is an outsourcer in chief, it's the president of the united states, not the guy who is run to go replace him. >> but the republicans are not the only ones questioning the president's record on outsourcing. the washington post today also called out the president citing his lack of action on tax reform, his support of free trade and failure to push back against china's currency manipulation me. joining me is carol lennig whose headline was: obama's record on
outsourcing draws criticism from the left. thank you for your time tonight. >> sure. >> this is a fulcrum of debate within the presidential campaign right now. is it bravado on mitt romney's part to try to bounce this back against the president saying you are the outsourcer. not me. what are the claims being made against the president? >> well eliot, both sides are obviously engaging in a good bit of bravado. the president and his campaign claims against romney that he invested and got rich off of outsourcing was a little bit of a stretch because my colleague, tom hamburger wrote that original story. romney? demagoguing a little bit stretching the key facts in this. but both have a kernel of truth. both cross accusations a kernal of truth. in the case of romney the claims that the recovery was shipped overseas the stimulus
dollars were all shipped overseas, that's an exaggeration, but there were a lot of dollars, hundreds of millions and billions of dollars that did end up in the hands of wind and solar companies that are foreign companies because, as even the white house acknowledge, that industry is not a big industry in the united states. they were hoping to build it. but the only entities they could get to build wind farms at least at the beginning of the stimulus werephon ones. >> it seems to be a little bit of a false equivalent. it's absolutely the case some still lus dallas went into wind and solar where the companies building the wind mills or solar energy facilities may be overseas and so we bought stuff from overseas. >> that's a different matter theoretically and dieideologically from investing in a company who whose headquarters is overseas. i am not trying to get you into the debate. i think it's a little bit of false equivalence saying
stimulus points went there. bain invested. am i right? >> you are not wrong. it's just that both sides want to capital eyes on this idea that in the president's corner if you will, he is saying, hey i used stimulus more than $500 million of it separate from some of the tax cuts to create jobs in the united states, permanent, long-standing jobs for american workers. and that didn't always come true in some of the stimulus programs because the wind turbines were made in germany or in asia you know. i think even the department of 's own research and study found something like 40 to 50% of the turbanine were made abroad out of that program. now, i know what you are saying about the equivalence. in the case of romney, he didn't -- he did invest in a trend through bain capital, his very profitable perch there.
he did invest in companies that were on the cutting edge of beginning to out source jobs for u.s. companies and basically take advantage of low wages in other places. but he actually left bain before they started doing their growth overseas. >> i don't want to get into the middle of that debate either. we want to move on to a different issue. i think it's one thing for bain to invest in companies' whose business model was outsourcing, a business model em embraced by many companies, from ge on down versus money in the stimulus being used as you say in a sola and wind sector whereof necessity some of the products yes bought were from overseas. it seems the more en trenchant critique would relate to his embrace of a free-trade model. that has led to significant exportation of jobs. >> that's where ideologically there is perhaps a better critique, that he has not moved after are from an acceptance that free and open trade with south american, asia, is what he wants to encourage and that has
led to the export of jobs. is that not the better critique? >> yes. you are right. and actually, what's interesting is you go immediately to the story that we wrote for today's front page and it centers on this idea that a liberal or progressive wing of the party is very upset with the president for failing to do what he said in 2004 and then again in his presidential campaign in 2008, and that was to dramatically reduce the incentives for companies to ship their jobs overseas to take advantage of lower costs and of wages and materials. and he said this for a long time. and now, the white house, for the umpteenth time has said, you know, it's really hard to get this stuff done unless congress is with you. >> that's definitely true. but there are other ways in which the obama administration has shown some ambivalence about this exact point you just made eliot, and that is: are you embracing unfetterred free trade, or are you not entirely
sure every time whether or not you like it or you don't? are you going to rework the visa program, which people are really concerned basically brings say, foreign-born architects and high-tech folks here to do u.s. jobs on the argument that they are the only ones that have the skill? and then you lose that skill-building here in the united states. people are also questioning: could the president have done more to create incentives for job building here? could the president have done more to deal with chinese currency? and labor china a currency manipulator? if they had, if this administration had done, that critics say, we could be potentially erecting tariffs to protect u.s. products. >> there has been a constant team from i think well respected business leaders saying the white house could have done more
to protect american labor through currency manipulation, the visa program, other issues as well at a political level, i don't think there is any question that at a minimum, the rom campaign has mudied the water and is saying if you are ageing us, we can as you. carol, you have opened up a pandora's box that is going to be at the heart of the presidential campaign. thank you for your time tonight. >>. >> thank you, he willelliott. >> nancy pelosi dancing to zztopps. the view finder is next. >> and you think it doesn't affect you? think again. so, you guys grew up together. yes, since third grade... what are you lookin' at? not looking at i anything... >> this court has proven to be the knowing,
>> still to come, if the first 30 times no succeed, please stop trying. but first, the barbecue chip, end of cookie monster and good advice from chris christie when it doesn't put anywhere else we put it in the viewfinder. >> and abraham lincoln is in the house. my homeboy from illinois and an outstanding republican. >> can't lead by being a mystery. you can't lead by being an inig ma. you can't lead by being aloof. >> i love this state. it seems right here trees are the right height. >> bunny bumper balls like human bumper cars. and this is -- >> facts about the all-star game here we go. number 10 from detroit tigers starting pitcher justin ver
lander. take it away justin. >> this year they have added an extra base. >> these are very specific and hard to obtain barbecue chips. it appears the effervescent chip package in the open garage disappeared, too yummy to pass up for two highly intoxicated young ladies. >> josh hamilton, josh good tosty you good en. >> this year's game is cup optional baby. ♪ >> hey good this crazy. you got cookies. share it maybe. >> starting pitcher, c.j. wilson wilson. >> earlier today, we bonded to magic mike. >> cookie monster was always my favorite. republicans debate the afford
>> if at first you don't repeal the affordable care act, try try, and keep trying again. >> that's the thinking of house republicans who ahead of their 31t vote to repeal obama's health care law tomorrow spent nearly six hours debating it today. >> you would have thought the 17th time would be good. maybe the 9th time. 29th time. 31st time is like they are going for a record or something. of course, the senate is not going to take this up. this is political theater at its worst because americans are out of work, and this body isn't
doing anything about it t. >> i seek recognition to move to adjourn because we are not doing anything anyway. >> albert einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. >> singles hours debating this but not one minute considering a republican replacement. >> that's because there isn't one. >> they all have the same appeal to me: please, please please repeal obamacare. it's clear the american people know what our democratic leaders still to this day don't want to admit. obama kay eliminates millions of american jobs. >> obamacare is still a government takeover of health care putting federal bureaucrats in charge of decisions that should be made by you and your doctor. >> give americans the freedom to choose their health care plan our first step is to repeal obamacare this week. >> i have got to say it's almost painful to listen to the second
half of those republican congress members saying those foolish things. joining me to discuss all of today's shenanigans is congress woman lynn woolsey. thank you for your time congresswoman. >> thank you for having me, eliot. >> why are the republicans doing this? what is the political game they are playing? >> well, actually, it's baloney, and they know it. they want to fill time and fill space. they want to make president obama look unpopular. they say the same things over and over again, 31 times. we have been on the house floor debating repeal of the health care bill, a bill that really helps people and they can't get over it. >> and they do not -- just to make it clear, they don't have a replacement. it's not as though they have an answer to the health care crisis. or maybe i am wrong. have you heard what supposedly is repeal and replace?
is there a replacement? is there anything they are proffering as an alternative? >> no, actually, nothing. they have no replacement. they have no ideas. they have no suggestions. and the things that are good that are already enacted in the bill, they say they want to continue. so the whole emphasis of what they are doing is to try to defeat president obama in this next election. i think people have already decided what they want to do about health care, and i believe that the majority of people in this country want to keep it and know that it's constitutionally safe and they want us to build on it. there are lots of things we can do to make it better if we would leave it alone and stop trying to repeal it. >> the constitutionality is settled. republicans acknowledge dealing with pre-existing conditions is
important. keeping kids on until they are 26 is important. they don't have any coherent or even inco churned answer to what they would do insteadherpts answer to what they would do instead. >> that's what bothers me. do they have a jobs program they are trying to bring to the floor of the house? is there anything? are they just filling time with this? >> well, that's what they are doing. they are filling time, and they have not, in 18 months, brought up a jobs bill. that is the most important -- important piece of legislation that we need in this country, and we need it -- well we needed it 18 months ago. but they refuse to bring it forward. >> you know, the other issues, of course, the republicans love to talk about is the deficit and a report came out, i believe it was today from the cbo the congressional budget office saying that repeal of health care would add $145,000,000,000 to the deficit. do the republicans have any answer to that issue? >> they -- they for lack of a better word, theically.y lie-- they
lie. they have said over and over and over today that it's going to cost the american taxpayers, that it's going to hurt the deficit, that it's going to get in the way of doctors and their patients. if they don't want to get in the way of doctors and patients they should leave women alone. >> it will drive you nuts trying to square that circle. as you said, they lie. >> that's a fine word. there is no reason it shouldn't be called as it is. they deceive, dissem bell and distort. on the vote that will occur tomorrow, will the democratic party be unified or are we losing some support because it is kind of a dicey political issue? >> we will lose some of our democrats tomorrow because it is dicey and because probably their constituent can't get the nuances of what the republicans are saying and what the truth
is. >> it's a hard issue. on the other side, are there any republicans who will vote against repeal? any republicans who have the backbone and gumption to say this bill works. the constitutionalty is settled. it's time we embrace it and move on and get onto the more serious issues facing us? >> well, maybe one or two but they really keep their troops in line line. they insist that they vet the party line and they go along with it. they aren't democrats, you see. they are republicans. >> you know, i want to pick up on that for a second. i don't want to put you in an awkwardpox. they have better discipline. republicans are more disciplined than the democratic party. does that continue to be the case? >> that continues to be the case, the truth. >> that's what they are. they have three rails: they have politics. they have legislation. and policy and they have gifts. we have two rails are policy and legislation and policy and we
don't have -- get -- it's not in our dna. i don't know why. it isn't. i think that's why i like being a democrat. we are nicer people. >> i think i am with you. >> that's a good reason. you don't give it up for anything. don't do it. the president's tax plan he rolled out that is now hopefully going to be another focal point of the conversation in the presidential race and the house races this year is the democratic party unified behind his very wise judgment that we should extend the tax cuts only for those in the middle class? >> yes. but now, where we kind of fall apart at the edges is what exactly is middle class? i will go with his 250,000 dollars and above. but i represent the wealthiest county in california, and i am telling you $1 million is middle class in that county. but, you know what? they are well-educated, the people i represent, and they get
it, that they have to pay their fair share. >> right. it seems to me if the president can make that the full krum of the conversation over the next couple of weeks he will win. it will show whose side you are on, either on the side of those in the middle class who can -- who need that tax cut or are you on the side of those who are making a million or more who simple don't but just want to keep the money. >> that's right. and the nation wants the tax cuts for the middle class. >> they certainly do. democratic congresswoman lynn woolsey of california was thank you for your time. you are retiring. we will miss you. thank you for all you have done for this nation. >> thank you, eliot. thanks for having me. >> flow sheetit is our pleasure. the president of syria may finally, be losing his grip on the country. >> that's ahead on "viewpoint." >>it's the place where democracy is supposed to be the great equalizer,
>> voter id laws a non-issue, that's ahead. but first, let's go west to the war room and check in with general dper granholm. good evening, governor. what have you got on the show tonight. >> we will focus on the democrats' game plan to take back congress, occupy the majority. there are a bunch of democrats who are actually voting with the republicans. we are going to expose the lack of loyalty. we have steve israel chairman of the dccc. and mitt rom address the naacp. we will talk to wendell anthony, the president of the largest chapter of the naacp from
detroit. we have those stories and a lot more at the top of the hour right here in the political junky's place, the war room. >> it's going to be great, not to jump to the bottom line your conclusion. how do people assess right now the odds that the democratic party can take back the house? >> i think it's a bit of a climb, but it's all depending upon turnout. they have got a lot of good targets in democrat ceased. >> turnout which means that getting people to vote and voter id laws are right at the fulcrum. >> you have going into it. >> naacp leading the charnley to get rid of those awful voter id laws? >> absolutely. >> more viewpoint. we will watch jennifer's show at the top of the hour. thank, jennifer thanks eliot.